First batch of COVID-19 vaccines delivered through COVAX Facility arrives in Lebanon

25 March 2021

On 24 March 2021, 33,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were delivered through the COVAX Facility from the Netherlands through Dubai to Beirut, Lebanon. The arrival of the vaccines marks the first shipment to Lebanon as part of the COVAX Facility’s unprecedented effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally by the end of 2021. The aim of the vaccination rollout in Lebanon is to reach at least 20% of the population, including refugees and migrant workers.

"A small first quantity of AstraZeneca vaccines was received yesterday, marking a big step for COVID-19 vaccination in Lebanon," said Dr Iman Shankiti, WHO Representative in Lebanon. “I am delighted that Lebanon is amongst the first countries to receive vaccines against COVID-19 through the COVAX Facility, as we strive to overcome the many challenges we are facing to make sure that people in Lebanon have access to free vaccines.”

“Today we receive the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines, and this represents a positive turn in the course of combating the pandemic," said Acting Director General of the Ministry of Public Health Fadi Sinan.

This shipment is part of the first wave allocation for Lebanon.

Another batch of vaccines from the COVAX Facility is expected to arrive in early April 2021 consisting of 130,000 doses. In parallel, the private sector in Lebanon is also supporting the provision of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming days and weeks.

Notes to Editors

Full COVAX News Note to Editors:https://www.who.int/initiatives/act-accelerator/covax/covax-news-note-to-editors

List of donor pledges to the Gavi COVAX AMC: https://www.gavi.org/sites/default/files/covid/covax/COVAX-AMC-Donors-Table.pdf

UNICEF COVAX page: https://www.unicef.org/supply/covax-ensuring-global-equitable-access-covid-19-vaccines

Media contacts

WHO Lebanon, Hala Habib, +961 3 870459, hhabib@who.int

WHO EMRO, Inas Hamam, +20 100 015 7385, hamami@who.int

WHO global, +41 22 791 2222, mediainquiries@who.int